DK Shivakumar says Ramesh Jarkiholi is my 'best friend'

DK Shivakumar says Ramesh Jarkiholi is my 'best friend'

Parameshwara, Shivakumar and Dinesh Gundu Rao held a closed-door meeting on Friday

Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar on Friday described his Cabinet colleague and Municipalities Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi as his “best friend”, even as the Jarkiholi brothers continued to mount pressure on the party to rein in Shivakumar.

“He (Ramesh) is my personal friend. I will meet him soon and talk to him...I have stood by him through thick and thin,” Shivakumar told reporters.

He was speaking to reporters after holding a closed-door meeting with Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao. Parameshwara and Gundu Rao are learnt to have requested Shivakumar to bury the hatchet and put an end to political upheaval in the state.

Shivakumar’s statement is being seen in political circles as an effort to pacify the Jarkiholi brothers, who are demanding the party to stop Shivakumar from interfering in Belagavi district politics. Congress MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar has of late grown in strength in Belagavi with the help of Shivakumar, and Jarkiholi brothers are, therefore, feeling sidelined.

The brothers have threatened to rebel if their demands, which also includes making Satish Jarkiholi either KPCC president or a deputy chief minister, are not fulfilled at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Parameshwara sought to downplay the issue, saying that the media has been blowing it out of proportion. “It’s not a major problem. There are some minor issues pertaining to the development of Belagavi and their constituencies. We will sit and sort them out...The media is simply blowing it out of proportion,” he said, adding that the coalition government is stable.